Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The wrong call in North Carolina: “A federal judge on Monday upheld sweeping Republican-backed changes to election rules, including a voter identification provision, that civil rights groups say unfairly targeted African-Americans and other minorities.”
* Though the ruling will be appealed, it’s causing widespread alarm: “Voting rights groups say Monday’s ruling by a federal judge upholding North Carolina’s sweeping and restrictive voting law could cause chaos this fall if left in place.”
* Something to keep an eye on: “The White House was placed on lockdown Tuesday after a man jumped a fence at a building west of the grounds, officials said. The lockdown began at around 4 p.m. and was lifted by around 4:30 p.m. The Secret Service said the White House was placed under a state of lockdown called a ‘condition yellow.’”
* A 6-2 ruling: “Public employees can sue, claiming their civil rights were violated, as long as their employers thought a constitutional right was in play, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The decision was a victory for a New Jersey man, Jeffrey Heffernan, who was a police officer in Paterson, New Jersey, when the mayor was running for re-election.”
* ISIS: “The flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria has dropped from roughly 2,000 a month down to 200 within the past year, according to the Pentagon, which says the waning numbers are further proof of the Islamic State’s declining stature. The declining number of fighters is a direct result of strikes that have targeted the terror group’s infrastructure, Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, said Tuesday.”
* Europe: “Belgium famously sealed a dubious notoriety five years ago when it spent 589 days without an elected government. While Spain is not quite Belgium yet, it is getting there. Spain has started its fifth month without a government, but it is very likely to spend six months or more in political limbo, many analysts now predict, as the Spaniards give the Flemings and Walloons a run for their money in the political discord category.”
* Policymakers are eventually going to have to take a long, serious look at civil asset forfeiture.
* Augsburg, Germany, is going out of its way to accommodate a problem: “[O]fficials in the city of Augsburg became concerned when they noticed a new phenomenon: Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights. The city has attempted to solve that problem by installing new traffic lights embedded in the pavement – so that pedestrians constantly looking down at their phones won’t miss them.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.